ACEC Texas Awards Silver Medal to LAN for 72-inch Water Line from Emancipation to Tuam

Apr 3, 2024

 By Anavid Morfin

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Texas awarded civil engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) a silver medal in the special projects category for its work on the 72-inch Water Line from Emancipation to Tuam with Houston Public Works Department (HPW) in Harris County. The award was presented during the ACEC Texas Engineering Excellence Awards Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston on March 25, 2024.

The Engineering Excellence Awards Competition has been held by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas since its inception in 1975 to honor and recognize outstanding achievements within the engineering community. In June of this year, the Texas Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TX-APWA) named the 72-inch Water Line from Emancipation to Tuam project the 2023 Project of the Year Award for Environment, $25M-$75M category. This project earned its state-wide
recognition at the Mammoth TX-APWA Public Works Conference.

Central to HPW’s Surface Water Transmission Program (SWTP), the 72-inch water line plays a crucial role in diminishing ground subsidence in Houston through the transition from groundwater to surface water, thereby improving the dependability of the water supply. The scope of the project extended beyond the water line, encompassing road rebuilding, enhanced drainage systems, upgrades to traffic signals and streetlights, new sidewalks, and the replacement of smaller diameter water lines. This initial segment, one of four proposed projects, stretched from East Downtown to Midtown.

Carol Haddock, Director of Houston Public Works, says, “This project created resilience in the drinking water transmission system and replaced nearly 8000 feet of distribution lines to upgrade some of Houston’s older infrastructure. Crews made improvements to drainage, sidewalks, and streetlights to benefit communities in two council districts. These changes will lay a foundation to improve the quality
of life for generations to come.”

The project’s success can be attributed to the effective teamwork among HPW, the contractor, and the engineering team. HPW’s continuous efforts in expanding the water system have ensured that Houston’s drinking water system retains its ‘Superior Water Supply System’ rating, the highest water quality accolade awarded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Christine Kirby, PE, ENV SP, LAN’s project manager, says, “This project was a testament to the power of collaboration, with the City, our engineering team, and the Contractor working in unison. The uniqueness of this project was not just in its technical challenges but also in our commitment to preserving and improving the environment we worked in.”